Welcome to sin city or the Las Vegas of Asia, Macau. Checked into an Airbnb for 45 SGD/night (yeah, Macau isn’t cheap) and was pretty well located, walking distance from Senado Square. No, didn’t gamble this time at all, because I was trying to be here pretty much on budget because my next stop will be HK, which is even more expensive.
Macau has two main islands and the northern island is where I stayed and the southern island houses the new gambling area. The city is very lovely and vibrant and you can still feel and see the Portuguese influence everywhere, e.g. food and buildings. The latter ones are amazing, the colonial style and vibrant colours at some places. There are many small alleys for you to explore and the old part of Macau is just amazing, seeing very old buildings and yet just a few km further down across the bridge, you can experience the bustling new gambling area in Cotai. Cotai, is a combination of the two main villages on the south island, Taipa and Coloane. In Macau, you can really say that West meets East! It’s everywhere from the building, food, language, people etc.
The weather was great during the daytime, really sunny and hot, however during the evening, temperature can drop significantly during this period.
I started to be explore the northern island first, thus my first stop was Senado Square, the nearby very famous Ruins of St. Paul’s and of course Fortaleza do Monte (Mount Fortress) cum Macau Museum. I can tell you it was worthwhile and the view is spectacular. Be prepared, that you won’t be alone:) You will somehow find a spot for you to make your photos. 🙂 Continued my day trip and walked towards Fortress Of Guia (Guia Lighthouse) and the adjacent park. If you want a time off from the neon lights and hectic city, that’s the place to be! Last stop of the day was A-Ma Temple, before I strolled back towards the city via the neighbourhoods (not the main road).
Really loved that experience walking though small alleys. You will discover many churches and the are all so colourful and fits nicely into the surrounding. I can’t describe the feeling and you have to walk through the old alleys yourself.
The second day I made my way to the southern island to explore Coloane Village, Taipa Village and of course Cotai. Latter one, again not for gambling, but rather to take some shots of all the lit up casinos and hotels during the evening:)
Began the day in Coloane Village and there are many cafe’s, eateries and restaurants along the water promenade. So if you want to relax and enjoy a book, go there. The area is big and I moved around the area where the Chapel of St. Francis Xavier is located. Here again, you will find many small ways and alleys to walk around and you will be surprised what you can see and find. Didn’t go to Hac Sa Beach, as it was at the other end of the village. On the way back I stopped by at the Panda Bear Pavilion, more by coincidence as I wasn’t aware that Macau had one. Was great to see a Panda and the best part was the Coloane trekking trail, which is about 8 km long. Nature at it’s best!!! Enjoy it a lot.
Next stop was Taipa Village, which is just at the boarder of Cotai. Lovely area and you can’t believe it that next to it, is a major gambling hub. Two different worlds! A must go place is Rua Do Cunha. This place offers a lot of good eateries, snacks, pastries, local food and Portuguese restaurants. So, if you are a foodie, make your way there and you won’t regret it. I myself, tried the Portuguese egg tart, and OMG!!!! It was awesome and really out of this world. Warm, crispy and the texture was just perfect!
Within walking distance you will find as well Our Lady or Carmel Church Pek Tai Temple and of course the Taipa Houses Museum. Latter one you should not miss. The houses are pained in vibrant mint green, displaying Macanese history and culture.
If you want to catch a meal in Taipa, there are many options and you can find Portuguese restaurants, some even Michelin starred. I opted for some local food and snacks:) Sinful but very good. Had curry fishball and some local pastries.
And what is a trip to Macau, not having seen the city at night with all the glitter and neon lights. All the casinos are brightly lit and seems to me that they are contesting “Who has the most Power’.
If you manage to get to Macau, try the local delights like curry fishball, pork chop bun, their various pastries and of course the Portuguese egg tart! Getting around in Macau is pretty easy. The local bus connection is splendid and you can reach most of the places by foot. If you don’t feel like walking, you can use the various free shuttle buses provided by the major casinos and hotels, but beware that the queue might be long.
Not to be missed: Senado Square, Ruins of St. Paul’s, Taipa Village, Coloane Village, Mount Fortress, strolling through the old city and Rua Do Cunha
Next time will surely cover more of Coloane village and some other areas of old Macau, which is just lovely. And maybe play a bit:)
Mode of transport: mostly by foot:) and local bus and free shuttle bus from hotels and casinos
Daily expenses: 20 SGD for food and drink (excluding entrance tickets)